fragmeister

Activity up the Parramatta River

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Hi Raiders,

I was at the Armory Wharf Cafe on Sunday and I saw a flock of Shags flying in formation heading upriver. There were about 50 of them. I don't recall ever seeing Shags in flocks before or at least none that big. 

I thought that was very unusual and wondered where they might be going.

5 minutes later they were back drifting on the outgoing tide and feeding on either baitfish or the leftovers of whatever pelagics were creating all the surface activity.

My best guess would be a school of tailor or perhaps salmon. Not overly large based on the surface splashes.

This was a long way upriver ( arrow on map below)  and I have never seen surface action this far up . I have a seen a little action just east of the Gladesville bridge in recent years ( crosses on map) but in hundreds of boat trips from and to the Ermington Boat ramp I have never seen anything in that stretch between Gladesville and Silverwater bridges.

Funny thing was the Shags seemed to know about it... not sure how they did that from 2 meters above the water a few kilometres away.

Anyway, probably a good sign.

Anyone seen any serious activity up the river this time of year?

Cheers

Jim

 

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Have seen them before in the area. They particularly like ambushing in the shallow flats next to the wharf rd boat ramp. Some go inside the flats and drive the fish to the narrow throat on the main river that drops off into the deeper water,  or vice versa. Presume its the poddy mullet sunning themselves in the shallow flats water that they chase.

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very good mate of mine works as orderly at Concorde Hospital (36 years ) and he often tells me of fish boils he sees out the windows of the Hospital. He works afternoon shift so I would guess he sees the schools in the afternoon. He recons it would be well worth the effort to go have a try.

Frank

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Posted (edited)

You can't eat fish from the Parramatta river right? or have I got my facts wrong...?

Edited by Oz98

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17 minutes ago, Oz98 said:

You can't eat fish from the Parramatta river right? or have I got my facts wrong...?

Not really the subject of the discussion though? Lots of people catch and release for fun.

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Posted (edited)

We live beside Brisbane Water. Probably an analogous situation. About once a month I see flocks of 1-200 little black shags fly in and swim along the shoreline in tight formation. It’s a very intense feeding activity, and it moves really quickly. Though I often follow them, and try to intercept them on wharves or headlands, ive never actually been able to confirm that they are feeding on schooling fish. It seems logical, but I just can’t see any, or any predatory fish either. There is usually lots of surface activity, but the shags move so quickly it’s hard to tell whether there are fish there or it’s just the leading edge of the shag flock. I really don’t know what they are doing. I have wondered if it’s just a feeding strategy that they use for busting the resident fish and prawns out of the sea grass - kind of by maximising underwater confusion and panic. 

That may explain why the shags ‘seem to know about it’. They don’t, it’s just a feeding strategy at their own initiative.

There are usually a few pelicans and egrets crash the scene, but they don’t seem to catch much and soon fly off, which also suggests to me they are not chasing baitfish.

I’ve been watching this for a couple of years and still no answer.

 

 

Edited by Volitan

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I have seen surface action near gladesville which is usually only in summer. it does make some sense that tailor could have been into some fish on the surface near Ermington and gotten fired up.

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I guess I haven't been paying enough attention!

For the best part of 3 years I have been riding the bike track on that section of the river to and from work and never spotted a boil...

I am at a loss to explain it... perhaps the ferry traffic kills the activity during the week.

Thanks for the replies boys.

Cheers

Jim

 

 

 

 

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On 8/12/2019 at 4:36 PM, GoingFishing said:

Not really the subject of the discussion though? Lots of people catch and release for fun.

Yeah mate I was just wondering.

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